Thursday, June 16, 2011

What To Do With The Canadian Senate?

Today on Power Play the media panel discussed the upcoming Senate "reform" legislation to impose term limits, which allegedly might die in the Senate despite the Tory majority in both chambers of Parliament. This then led to speculation by Oliver and Ibbitson that if this legislation fails the Prime Minister might move to abolish the Senate altogether. There seems to be more support among the Premiers for abolishing the Senate than electing it; ergo it would be easier to pass a constitutional amendment to scrap it. I'm not convinced that Stephen Harper will change his strategy to abolition. Today's poll question; should the Canadian Senate be elected, abolished, or unchanged? I asked this question in January 2010, and 71% of respondents wanted an elected upper chamber. Has your opinion changed in the last 15 months? I support electing the Senate and giving the chamber more power and responsibilities. I do not support the Senate as it currently exists.

Here are the results from some of my previous poll questions on this subject.


Elect it (71%)
Abolish it (24%)
Hands off it (4%)


No (95%)
Yes (4%)
Undecided (1%)


Yes (76%)
No (24%)


  1. What makes those so called "journalists" think that the Prime Minister can single handedly abolish the Senate?

  2. In the early days, senators complained said that the senate needs to be reform. PM Harper wants to do just that. unfortunately some senators don't want to lose their cushy jobs but left to the NDP those senator fools are gone; doors to the senate will be close and ndp will run the show without any interference.
    I am positive that many socialists wouldn't mind that at all.

    So, in the meantime, the PM will continue to appoint and the media and opposition continue to accuse him of not following through on his committment.

    Now, let's say that it was a liberal to suggest a 'senate reform'....without a doubt in my mind, the msm and probably others who were against it would jump for joy for such an idea to take form. Alas! it is a conservative to do so and man, he, the PM, is chewed up.

    This country is very weird for my likening.

    Baically putting it, the conservatives are wanted nor liked to change anything. only the liberals and socialist ndp are allowed to abolish, change or for that matter re-open the Constitution.But not the conservatives. they are nothing nobody nada nor are they respected.

  3. They want to bitch and complain about a senate reform well then PM, stack the senate with your appointed senators and screw the rest. You tried your best but.....

  4. If it gets defeated in the senate then kick all of the @sshole traitors out of caucus, publish their names and immediately attempt to abolish the senate. Disgusting leeches.

  5. If the PM's attempts to reform the Senate by limiting senators' terms and appointing only elected senators fail, then the PM should simply continue appointing senators, elected or not, regardless of whether those appointees are viewed as cronies or bagmen of the sitting PM.

    What is it that annoys Canadians most about the Senate? IMO, it's the perception that they don't earn their salary, that a Senate seat is a sinecure open only to a select few in the ruling PM's coterie. In other words, there's an element of envy there, fomented by talk shows and pundits pointing to senators guilty of abusing their privileges. But do ALL senators deserve that kind of scorn? I may be naive, but I believe by and large most of them try to do a good job of reviewing legislation and proposing amendments.

    What I seriously question is the need for 105 senators. Why is the US, with ten times Canada's population, able to function with 100 senators? As a matter of fact, the US House of Representatives has 435 to our 308? Why does Canada need that number of legislators? But realistically, is there any hope of changing that number? No.

    So, if impossible to reform the Senate, keep it as is rather than abolish it.
    -- Gabby in QC

  6. Canada needs a "Triple-E" Senate. There MUST be checks in the system or it will become more corrupt than even in the Chretien years.

    How about three elected Senators from each Province,one from each Territory,total 33?

    Canada is the most over governed Nation on earth,with more elected trough feeders proportionally than almost any developed Country.

    PEI really needs 28 MLA's,with a population of about 125,000?!